Snyder shares rise after hiring IB to mull merger or sale

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Snyder Communications shares are on the upswing after the country's 11th largest ad organization hired investment banker Alex Brown, a unit of Deutch Bank, to examine the possibility of merging with another company or selling out.

The move is designed to maximize shareholder value, according to Snyder Chief Financial Officer Clayton Perfall. Snyder, parent of Arnold Communications and direct-marketing agency Brann Worldwide, has been plagued with stock prices in the mid-teens, while large holding companies such as WPP Group and Omnicom Group have seen stock prices exceed $70 a share and $100 per share, respectively.

 Mr. Perfall wouldn't comment on reports Snyder might link up with WPP, Omnicom or Interpublic Group of Cos., which is selling for about $50 a share. No time frame for a decision has been announced.

Snyder shares on Dec. 27, prior to the close, were trading around $19.44 on heavy volume, continuing upward movement from the previous week. The shares hit all-time lows in mid-December.

Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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